When Social Work Meets Theatre in Tanzania
It seems like I have always been curious about people, places, and cultures. I remember growing up in New York with its diversity of peoples, cultures, foods, and communities. For me, at that time, I would look at the people wondering why they came to New York. Why would they leave India, the Caribbean, Africa, and other places on this earth to be in there? Of course, I knew little about the rest of the world, however, I was curious, and took every opportunity to speak with others about their cultures, native lands, and their likes or dislikes for life in the Big Apple. It was unimaginable that I might someday get an intimate view of life anywhere except New York.
Yet, the day did come after college and graduate school. I moved to the US Virgin Islands. From there I developed an even greater curiosity about other cultures because there were so many people from different island cultures living together in harmony. I worked in a mental health clinic where the manifestation of mental illness through diverse cultures was fascinating. The idea that various cultures celebrated differently had different illnesses, which had to be treated with their cultures in mind encouraged me to study cultural differences. As an American social worker, I felt at a disadvantage because I had been educated as a social worker with very little insight into social ills impacting different cultures. I decided I needed to get better educated about culture, social development, and worlds other than the one in which I lived.